Far-right obsessed soldier jailed over nail bomb

Ryan McGee showing his support for the EDL. Picture: PA
Ryan McGee showing his support for the EDL. Picture: PA
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A YOUNG rifleman who was obsessed with far-right politics has been jailed for two years for making a nail bomb packed with deadly shrapnel in his ­bedroom.

Ryan McGee’s home-made device contained 181 metal screws and bits of glass which were designed to maximise wounding capability when it was set off.

Police found the bomb when they raided his three-bedroom family home in Eccles, near Manchester, on an unrelated matter last November.

The court heard he was interested in the English Defence League (EDL) but was not a member and had watched a horrific video of men being bound and executed under a swastika flag.

The 20-year-old loner had previously admitted buying The Anarchist Cookbook and making the nail bomb and was sentenced yesterday.

Jailing him, Recorder of London Brian Barker said: “The fact of the matter is any explosive device in the wrong hands could cause untold misery to anyone on the receiving end. Sadly, we live in a violent age.

“Let’s be quite clear that any experimentation by anybody with these kinds of weapons must lead to severe sentences. What you have lost is your reputation and your future but I hope in due course you can make amends for that.”

Earlier, prosecutor Roger Smart said: “This case involves a young man, a serving soldier, who hand-made a viable bomb in the bedroom of his childhood home. He surfed the internet, he bought supplies, and he watched videos and read books about how to make explosive devices.”


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The bomb was uncovered when Greater Manchester Police searched the house where he lived with his mother Vera and two brothers.

At the time he was arrested, McGee was serving with Bravo Company of the 5th Battalion the Rifles before being deployed to barracks in Germany.

Photos of his bedroom showed he had a “keen interest in the English Defence League”, the lawyer said.

However, he was not a member of the EDL despite attending a march and displaying the “No Surrender” insignia flag and an EDL T-shirt and jumper – bought for him by his mother for his 18th birthday.

The defendant admitted an interest in fireworks and explosives but “the haul of imitation firearms ammunition and IED [improvised explosive device] components suggests a preoccupation that goes far beyond any amateur enthusiast’s collection”, Mr Smart said.

McGee kept a journal entitled Ryan’s Story Book with stickers of Scooby Doo and birds on the front filled with drawings of guns, machetes, knuckledusters and knives and images of several paramilitary soldiers.

When he was interviewed by police, McGee said he made the bomb while on leave “out of boredom” and that he was interested in right-wing politics because he did not like mass ­immigration.

Defending, Antony Chinn QC said McGee had been an immature teenager at the time, as demonstrated by the Scooby Doo notebook. He said: “Although he accepts he made the device he never intended to put it to any violent purpose.”


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